Season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has reached its end with episode 12, “Second Chances.” In last week’s episode, the Wildcats finally put on their production of “Beauty and the Beast.” However, many members of the cast and Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) were dealing with being nervous. Fortunately, Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) managed to bring up their spirits and reminded everyone of all the hard work that’s been put into the show. Ricky (Joshua Bassett) and Ashlyn (Julia Lester), despite being injured, played the lead roles of the play. Also in the HSMTMTS Season 2 finale were unexpected surprises and unwelcome guests.
In “Second Chances,” the Wildcats have officially wrapped up their show. They all head to Salt Lake Slices to celebrate their performance and wait for the nomination results from The Menkies. Miss Jenn is even more nervous about the nominations and begins to act weird around her students. Mr. Mazzara (Mark St. Cyr) shows his softer side by talking to Miss Jenn about her worries. Many more surprises await the Wildcats, including Ricky having a change of heart about someone, EJ (Matt Cornett) making a tough choice towards his feelings for Gina (Sofia Wylie), and Nini contemplating her future.
It seems as if the disappointment from last week’s episode continues with “Second Chances” in relation to glossing over certain plot elements. The rest of the Wildcats’ production of “Beauty and the Beast” is completely glossed over within minutes of the episode starting. It could be said that people that are watching the show would already know the basic plot of the musical, making it an okay choice to not include too much of it in the episode. However, there were certain musical numbers that would’ve been incredible to see put on, especially “Tale As Old as Time.” If the show gets renewed for a third season, it would most likely benefit more from not having a musical be a part of its plot or to dedicate at least 1 episode to just focus on the musical itself. Completely glossing over the musical takes away any stakes and importance that it had on the season’s plot.
Similar to the HSMTMTS Season 1 finale, the HSMTMTS Season 2 finale took a risk by ending on multiple cliffhangers. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but as of writing this review, the show has not been renewed for another season. There’s nothing wrong with ending on cliffhangers, but having too many is just too risky. The cliffhangers could prove to have big payoffs but it could also not lead to anything, especially if the show isn’t renewed. HSMTMTS has a history of their cliffhangers not having any real payoff, as seen with Nini’s storyline of attending the music school in Denver. Whether or not the season will be renewed, it doesn’t make sense for the show to not set up the episodes and its characters for the possibility of the show ending.
One of the biggest highlights from “Second Chances” was the musical number at the very end. After a blooper sequence, the episode ended with the entire cast singing “You Are the Music in Me,” one of the main songs from High School Musical 2. Although it was announced before the Season 2 premiere that the second movie in the High School Musical franchise would not be adapted, it’s nice that this song was included. The performance from the cast members perfectly encapsulates the bond that they have all formed together. Regardless of the disappointing finale, this performance showed off the cast’s chemistry and how they have made the show feel truly special. However, the fact that the ending musical number had nothing to do with the plot yet was the highlight of the episode was very disappointing for me.
Ultimately, “Second Chances” did not live up to expectations and delivered a very disappointing Season 2 finale. The episode seemed to focus much more on setting up the cliffhangers rather than wrapping up the storylines that were going on. It also glossed over their production of “Beauty and the Beast,” which takes away any real importance of the central storyline of the season. If the show does get renewed, hopefully corrections will be made to give importance to what matters rather than adding even more elements to the plot.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2 Episode 12 - "Second Chances"
- Rating - 5/105/10
“Second Chances” did not live up to expectations and delivered a very disappointing Season 2 finale. The episode seemed to focus much more on setting up the cliffhangers rather than wrapping up the storylines that were going on. It also glossed over their production of “Beauty and the Beast,” which takes away any real importance of the central storyline of the season. If the show does get renewed, hopefully corrections will be made to give importance to what matters rather than adding even more elements to the plot.